WBU Students Share Rides and Faith at Beach Reach

PLAINVIEW ­– Each year, students from Texas Baptist universities descend on South Padre Island during spring break to offer van rides, breakfast and evangelism to those spending their spring break taking in the festivities on the island. This year, eight Wayland Baptist University students joined the 854 Beach Reach volunteers, sharing their faith and serving others at Beach Reach.

JR Dunn, Baptist Student Ministries director at Wayland, said the mission gives students a chance to practice their faith in real-world situations. While many of the people they encounter are receptive to hearing the gospel, others are not interested and some mock and ridicule Christian students as they openly share their faith.

“We met every type of person there,” Dunn said. “There were moments of discouragement for some of our students. But the truth is, once you sit down and realize what you’re doing, you realize not all will be receptive. But there will be those who are and it’s encouraging to them.”

Dunn said students spent their time offering van rides. In all, about 50 vans were available from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. each day. Other time was spent serving breakfast to spring breakers, serving midnight breakfast and witnessing and praying with individuals they met on the beach.

According to Texas Baptist statistics, the 854 Beach Reach volunteers gave out 15,534 van rides, had 8,269 gospel conversations, prayed with 7,073 people, witnessed 207 professions of faith, and saw 104 lives recommitted to Christ during the two-week Beach Reach ministry.

Dunn said experiences like Beach Reach teach students to be bold in their faith. He is hoping that carries over to their time on campus.

“The number one thing we do as the Wayland BSM is seek opportunities to share our faith here on campus with the people that we live with, our neighbors,” Dunn said. “Beach Reach is a training event for the real work, which is laboring on campus.”